Bubble Bursts as LA Poker Classic Field Shrinks on Day 3

Day 3 at the 2020 LA Poker Classic saw 39 players bag chips after the money bubble popped. One of those players — chip leader Balakrishna Patur — wore a face mask during play, which might soon become a more common occurrence at the poker tables as coronavirus continues to spread throughout the US.

LA Poker Classic Day 3

Players are taking precautions against Coronavirus at the 2020 LA Poker Classic. (Image: WPT.com)

Patur entered the session with 370,000 chips, well above the average stack. He progressively built that stack up throughout Monday’s session, finishing with 2,289,000. He’ll come back at noon PT on Tuesday in great position to make a run at his first World Poker Tour final table.

Patur may have also set a fashion trend in poker, even if he wasn’t trying to. Still, it’s likely that we’ll soon see many other poker players wearing face masks at the table in hopes they don’t contract the coronavirus.

To date, six people in the US have died from the coronavirus and more than 3,000 deaths have been attributed to the disease worldwide so far. Many poker pros are concerned that the 2020 WSOP could be canceled due to the harmful virus. Some are even taking bets on if the series will go on as planned.

But at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles on Monday, the main focus was on the action on the felt, not on the mask-wearing chip leader.

Patur Sits Comfortably Atop LAPC Leaderboard

Patur is the chip leader and has a bit of distance from the rest of the pack. But he still has some work to do if he’s going to take down the Hublot trophy and $1 million first-place prize.

The 2020 LA Poker Classic went from 104 players Monday afternoon to 39 when Day 3 concluded. Only 23 of the 65 players who busted on Day 3 were paid. The rest went home empty-handed, and down $10,000.

Barry Greenstein, who barely made the cut, is one of the players who busted on Monday. He went out in 61st place, two spots after the bubble burst, taking home $16,905. Chance Kornuth (43rd for $21,290), Toby Lewis (52nd for $18,845), and Jesse Sylvia (55th for $18,845) were also eliminated on Day 3.

Patur’s lead over the competition — he bagged 2,289,000 chips — is fairly sizable. Shi Chen is in second place with 1,610,000. Ten past WPT champions remain in the running, including Poker Hall of Famer “Johnny World” Hennigan, who bagged 206,000 chips.

Isaac Baron, the Day 2 chip leader, increased his stack from 710,000 to 1,079,000 and remains right in the thick of things with two days of play left before the final table, which is scheduled for April 2 in Las Vegas at the Luxor.

The blinds will start at 5,000/10,000 (10,000 big blind ante) when Day 4 kicks off. Patur is one of five players with over 100 big blinds.

Jon Sofen
Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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